Hope for strays while others face death
The Town Planning Board, long reputed to be a bureaucratic rubber stamp for the government, turns out to have a heart after all.
After two years, it has finally approved leasing a site in Ma On Shan to the Sai Kung Stray Friends Foundation, a stray dogs shelter.
"We are over the moon," said foundation chair Narelle Pamuk.
The lease means dozens of strays under her care will have a longer-term home with improved conditions than their current kennel in Sai Kung.
The animal welfare group has had to move several times in recent years as leases expired and rents were raised.
But their trouble is not over. The board's approval is conditional, and meeting all its conditions will cost a fortune.
"I have been trying to get my head around the government's conditions and how to comply," said Pamuk. "I have fallen into a heap now as I don't know how to go forward."
She needs to hire professional consultants to help comply with all the conditions within the stipulated six months period.
This means they need:
1. a landscape architect
2. a fire consultant
3. an environmental consultant
4. a lands consultant
5. an architect
If you think you can help, please visit their website: www.saikungstrayfriends.net
Meanwhile, the infamous Yulin dog meat festival in Yulin, Guangxi , will take place next week, from June 22. Despite official denial, the festival will happen and Humane Society International (HSI) filmed festival slaughter preparations under way in Yulin late last month.
An estimated 10 million dogs are killed for their meat on the mainland every year while as many as 10,000 alone are slaughtered for the Yulin event. Many are stolen pets still wearing collars.
Don't think the festival is an ancient event. It was only started a few years ago by dog and cat meat traders to boost business. But work by HSI and Chinese campaigners are having an impact.
A dog meat festival in Jinghua , Zhejiang , has been shut down. The dog meat trade, once a common sight in Beijing, has gone underground.
With more expose and public criticism, it's possible to shut down all those dog festivals completely.